Five Incredibly Simple Habits of Happily Married People

Number five may surprise you.

Alice Cunningham
Apr 5 · 4 min read
Photo by Joe Hepburn on Unsplash

Have you ever wondered why so many marriages fail? After all, it’s so rosy at the beginning — all rainbows and unicorns. You know, hot sex for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (if we’re lucky) Every. Single. Day.

Plus, as newlyweds, we’re on our best behavior and blissfully blind to any annoying character traits. We LOVE being in love along with everything about our “perfect” partner, even the quirky way he cuts the crust off his sandwiches or the cute way she paints her toes in bed.

Over time, something happens. Familiarity seeps in, and we stop being our best selves. Idiosyncrasies we once cooed over now become a lightning rod for impromptu arguments. Those breadcrumbs start getting into our nail polish, and our nail polish rubs off on his leg — -Well, you get the picture.

The tint eventually wears off the rose-colored glasses, and our human imperfections inevitably begin to come into focus. In my experience and observations, what we choose to do from here separates the “happily ever afters” from the chronically unhappy couples lining the pockets of marriage counselors and divorce lawyers everywhere.

So what’s the difference? How do some longtime couples stay happy and others become angry, resentful, even miserable?

It boils down to choices. Over time, choices lead to habits that lead to marital happiness and satisfaction, divorce, or complete misery.

— —

From the vantage point of a forty-year love affair with my wonderful (and long-suffering) husband, as well as decades observing other married friends and family, here are five incredibly simple habits of happily married people:

Photo by Alvin Mahmudov on Unsplash

They never stop trying to present their best self to their partner. Not in a phony, self-absorbed, Kardashian kind of way — quite the opposite . I mean showing them the authentic, beautiful, thoughtful person they fell in love with, as much as possible. I’m not talking about sleeping in full makeup or greeting them at the door in heels and pearls (unless, of course, that’s your thing) but simply not allowing themselves to abandon their natural loveliness or charm to the detriment of their self-esteem. Studies prove when we look better, we naturally feel better; it boosts our mood and, in turn, those around us.

Photo by Ronny Sison on Unsplash

They feel fortunate to be sharing life with someone with all of the qualities they admire. By choosing to focus on their partner's best traits, they form a habit of gratitude. Though they realize their spouse is flawed (as they are), they don’t care. They know in their “knower” how blessed they are, and in turn, their spouse absorbs this loving energy, and like a boomerang, it is returned right back to them — usually ten-fold.

Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

They never stop being intimate. Whether that means “if the house is rockin’, don’t come knockin’, or an unexpected back-rub after a long day, it doesn’t matter what form it takes, as long as intimacy is kept alive. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a five-alarm fire; a warm flickering flame works wonders too.

Photo by Gus Moretta on Unsplash

They forgive. It’s natural to lash out when we feel wronged, disrespected, or whatever way our tender hearts get bruised or broken. Unfortunately, that’s life; but holding onto anger forms grudges that build walls of resentment that eventually become too high to climb over, leading to a life of misery. Happily married people understand and live by the philosophy that we all make mistakes, and we must forgive if we expect to be forgiven.

Photo by Ben Rosett on Unsplash

Divorce is NEVER bantered about as a viable option when the going gets a little challenging. If you’re married, you will inevitably have disagreements, misunderstandings, and blame game episodes. For the same reason that you wouldn’t amputate your hand because of a paper cut, happily married’s know there’s a better way to deal with minor marital quarrels than reverting to the “nuclear option.” Thoughts become things; therefore, the D-word is never loosely thrown around by happily married’s.

In conclusion:

Studies indicate that married people generally live longer, recover from illness better, and are more financially stable than their single counterparts.

However, marriage is not for everyone; but for those who choose it; implementing these simple habits can effectively change your marriage course in the best possible way. After 40 years of marital happiness, I guarantee it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for reading!

— -

Here are some of my most popular pieces on Medium:

Crow’s Feet

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Alice Cunningham

Written by

Creative. Copywriter. Blooming blogger. Breathwork enthusiast. Ghostwriter. Bohemian soul. Creative collaboration inquiries: Alicej@charter.net

Crow’s Feet

“The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.” (Frank Lloyd Wright) Non-fiction pieces, personal essays, occasional poems and short fiction that explore how we feel about how we age and offer tips for getting the most out of life.

Alice Cunningham

Written by

Creative. Copywriter. Blooming blogger. Breathwork enthusiast. Ghostwriter. Bohemian soul. Creative collaboration inquiries: Alicej@charter.net

Crow’s Feet

“The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.” (Frank Lloyd Wright) Non-fiction pieces, personal essays, occasional poems and short fiction that explore how we feel about how we age and offer tips for getting the most out of life.

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